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66. 'That our actions so far have been glorious, and that in the coming conflict we shall be1 fighting for a glorious prize, most of you, Syracusans and allies, seem to be aware: what else would have inspired you with so much energy? But if any one has failed to understand our position, we will enlighten him. [2] The Athenians came hither intending to enslave first of all Sicily, and then, if they succeeded, Peloponnesus and the rest of Hellas, they having already the largest dominion of any Hellenic power, past or present. But you set mankind the example of withstanding that invincible navy; which you have now defeated in several engagements at sea, and which you will probably defeat in this. [3] For when men are crippled in what they assume to be their strength, any vestige of self-respect is more completely lost than if they had never believed in themselves at all. When once their pride has had a fall they throw away the power of resistance which they might still exert. And this we may assume to be the condition of the Athenians.

1 Our past victories are a pledge of our future success, as the defeats of the enemy in former engagements are ominous of a defeat in this. They came hither to enslave us with their navy, but now the power of the sea has departed from them to us.

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